gru·​el | \ ˈgrü-əl How to pronounce gruel (audio) \

Definition of gruel

1 : a thin porridge
2 [ from to get one's gruel to accept punishment ] chiefly British : punishment
3 : something that lacks substance or significance the argument was thin gruel

Examples of gruel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Each girl eats about 40 per day, along with 12 pints of goat's milk and gruel, making their daily intake 14,000 to 16,000 calories. Abigail Haworth, Marie Claire, "Forced to Be Fat," 21 July 2011 The thought of buying 5 acres in Napa conjured up images of us eating cold gruel under a bare lightbulb. Beth Decarbo, WSJ, "Our 15-Year Quest to Find the Perfect Place to Retire," 20 Nov. 2018 This assumption was buoyed by various historical accounts, indicating that in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, natives dried and ground up cacao seeds to make gruels and beverages. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Chocolate has an even earlier origin than we thought, new study finds," 29 Oct. 2018 Salad and leftover gruel from the day before had been laid out. Washington Post, "Aid freeze, politics push Gaza’s people deeper into poverty," 9 June 2018 Other recipes included: onion gruel, Economical Meat Pie, egg daisies, and frozen Macedonia. Devra First,, "Why the club sandwich may just be the perfect American food," 11 June 2018 Polenta’s humble origins lay in basic, savory gruel for the poorer classes. David Tanis, New York Times, "Polenta and Shrimp, a Marriage of Land and Sea," 2 Mar. 2018 Salad and leftover gruel from the day before had been laid out. Washington Post, "Aid freeze, politics push Gaza’s people deeper into poverty," 9 June 2018 Some subsist on the thin gruel of political cartoon shows and online impeachment petitions. Sam Dolnick, miamiherald, "After Trump won, this man vowed to become ignorant. He’s been shockingly successful | Miami Herald," 11 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gruel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of gruel

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for gruel

Middle English grewel, from Anglo-French gruel, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English grūt grout

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The first known use of gruel was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of gruel

: a thin food made by boiling oatmeal or some other grain in water or milk


gru·​el | \ ˈgrü-əl How to pronounce gruel (audio) \

Kids Definition of gruel

: a thin porridge

More from Merriam-Webster on gruel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gruel

Britannica English: Translation of gruel for Arabic Speakers

Comments on gruel

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to complain fretfully

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